Friday, March 11, 2011

A Super Giveaway at the Blog of Beth Revis~!

Beth Revis is hosting a giveaway for Five signed copies of these fabulous books (along with the reasons why you will love them):
  • THE ETERNAL ONES by Kirsten Miller is a fast-paced, adventurious love story that involves reincarnation, secret societies, and fire.
  • THE REPLACEMENT by Brenna Yovanoff is a hauntingly beautiful book that scares the pants off me.
  • NIGHTSHADE by Andrea Cremer is not about werewolves--it's about true wolves that can shapeshift into people written by a brilliant scholar who incorporate history into the tale.
  • MATCHED by Allie Condie shows us that love can break through any barrier, and the most important thing is to not go gently...
  • ACROSS THE UNIVERSE is the book that I wrote and I would really like it if you liked it. Also I think you're pretty and want to be friends with you.
To enter the giveaway just head on over to Beth Revis's beautiful blog~! She's set up a beautiful html picture that is unfortunately far to big for my format, but that you should look at anyway. :D

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss: A Book Review

Genre: Hard core lovey dovey romance :P
Reading Level: 17 and up

Summary: Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets √Čtienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?

My Review: Hmmmm, that blurb doesn't sound amazingly interesting does it? I got this book from the library 'cause of all the great reviews I read about it. I was really excited to read it. I read it in one night. Because it was really really intense for me. Wow Stephenie Perkins what a debut. Doesn't the cover look like the book will be all cutesy and boy meets girl and they have troubles that aren't to weird and then get together? It was more like girl meets boyand a lot of serious jujumugumbo goes down that involves they're friends and families and will keep you up all night going "What's gonna happen gaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh~!" seriously it was another exhausting book. So I guess not what I expected, but in a good way.

I can't remember too much that singled Anna out as a unique heroine, she was mostly just average and so was St. Claire (to me at least, some other reviewers I've read call him swoon-worthy) but their problems were a-plenty and that's what kept my lamp burning. I'd say the real heart of this story is Anna and St. Claire's growing friendship. Hey let's face it, teenager's are sometimes fickle, they go out with one person and flirt with another. At least that's what I'm getting from books and TV show's these days. I think their trying to express that teenagers are still growing, learning and developing, so they don always know what they want, or how to handle situations even though their indecisiveness is terribly annoying for a reader, particularly this one :P. So Anna develops a crush on St. Claire right away, that happens sometimes, but it does deepen and mature as the story progresses and for that I give Perkin's two thumbs up. :D I also get the same from St. Claire, he's a boy with a lot of daddy issue's and mommy issue's and "I don't want things to change" issue's which hold him back for almost 300 something pages. I Loved the side characters, Anna's group of friends at her Paris school were nicely fleshed out but they didn't hog the spotlight, and like Anna and St. Claire, they also made a lot of stupid mistakes, had fights, and made up. There were some silly "Did she mean to write that?" moments in the book (particularly during a scene where St. Claire is showing our heroine around Paris, it's one of those "welcome to -insert name of place-" scene's that when not written properly are really clunky sounding) but other than that very solidly and consistently written. This is probably the first hard core romance I've read without the added paranormal affect, and it was a very interesting experience. I'm just not sure if I want to repeat it or not.

Content: lots of sexual references and harsh language, this one's definitely not for the kiddies.

Rating: 3 and a half stars out of 5

Recommend: Yes for romance fans, and people who like reading about characters feelings for 372 pages (I usually don't) the rest of your should go read something else.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Dynamic Duo's~! (Mar. 8)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish~! This week's topic: DYNAMIC DOU'S~! This is gonna be a fun one. :D

1. Nick and Nora Charles from The Thin Man: My long time readers will know my love for these two, so I won't go on and on about them except that they are the epitome of a perfect couple for me.

2. Harold the dog and Chester the cat from Bunnicula: Ahh a childhood favorite. I love the dynamic of this unique friendship. Chester is a tightly wound, imaginative, and overly well read cat who causes a bunch of trouble because he thinks an innocent bunny is the spawn of satan. :P Harold is a dog with literary talent (how does he type?) who goes with the flow, but stands up to his manic friend when he feels he is going over the edge. Despite their differences these two are close friends and help each other out when needed.

3. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire from A Series of Unfortunate Events: Okay so this is a terrific trio but...ones only a little baby (albeit with super sharp teeth) so can't I just squish her in there without anyone noticing? :P These three work well together because they each have a unique talent (Violet's an inventor, Klaus has photographic memory, and Sunny...bites) that is all their own and often comes in handy because they are often pursued by a psychotic man named Count Olaf.
4. Richard "Rick" Castle and Detective Katherine "Kate" Beckett from Castle: This is technically cheating since it's a tv show but these two have bookish counterparts with really stupid names so...Castle is a writer, and legal stalker who follows Kate around while she solves crime and then writes stories about them. He's fun loving, troublesome, yet caring, and she's sensible, fiery, and trying to solve the murder of her mother. Together they exchange witty banter, deny their feelings, and are the closest pair I've found to a modern Nick and Nora Charles. (before they were married :P)

5. Jessica and Lucius Vladescu from Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side: Sequel coming up Yay~! Jessica is an everyday girl, who unfortunately one day meets a vampire claiming her for his bride. She is not digging it. At all. :P But through a comedy filled book with bits of drama Jessica learns to love her vampire beau and through his relationship with her he is able to save himself from his darker um dark side. :P

6. Tommy and Tuppence Beresford from The Secret Adversary and subsequent sequels: Another snappy, crime solving duo, created by Agatha Christie, Tommy and Tuppence have tons of charm and tons of fun. They are bright young jazz things down on their luck, so the natural thing to do is obviously advertise in the newspaper as adventurers. Boy am I glad they did.
7. Skulduggery Pleasent and Valkyrie "Stephenie Edgley" Cain from Skulduggery Pleasent and its sequels: The first book in the Skulduggery Pleasent series is a knockout children's horror story. I love it to bits. Mostly because of the wise cracking demon killing duo of Skulduggery and his wizard apprentice Stephenie or as she likes to be called Valkyrie Cain.

8. Bella Kirkwood and Luke Sullivan from The Charmed Life series: I wasn't sure if I would like this series when I first started but I was pleasantly surprised by it. It was funny, and much to my surprise had a mystery. But I also liked the slowly growing relationship between Bella and her school newspaper Editor Luke.
9. Encyclopedia Brown and Sally Kimball from the Encyclopedia Brown Mystery series: The smartest boy in town is Leroy "Encyclopedia" Brown and his partner is the equally smart and pretty Sally Kimball. These two worked well off each other and I remember just being completely in awe of them when I was little.

10. Jim Qwilleran and Koko from the Cat Who...series: A bristly crime reporter with an epic mustache and a high class cat who helps him solve mysteries. Need I say more. Well maybe for people who don't like cats but I do, so... :P

So that's it for me *whew* that was surprisingly hard, but I did it. So what are your favorite duo's?

The Hunger Games: A Book Review

Genre: Dystopian/Action/Adventure
Reading Level: Ages 13 and up

Summary: Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

My Review: This was a very interesting read for many reasons. One: It was outside my usual genre and truthfully my comforts zone. Two: The whole time I was reading it, I wasn't sure if I found it truly compelling and thought provoking. I've read many reviews about it, some stating it to be the best book ever, others saying it was terrible and very gruesome. I wasn't going to read it, but finally saw it at my library and decided to give it a try if only to develop my own opinion of it.
With vivid description and sparse dialogue Suzanne Collins takes you through Katniss Everdeen's experience through the dreaded Hunger Games. I've heard this book described as awesome. I couldn't disagree more. There is nothing awesome about children being forced to kill each other. Unfortunately I can't think of a more appropriate word to describe it. The book left me with a sick stomach, not from content (although the killings, particularly near the end we're quite horrifying) but from total lack of closure and hope as well as that awful added note "End of Book One". The hope I can forgive seeing as it's the first book. I was going to read book two, until I found it threw Katniss right back into the Hunger Games. Let me tell you something: this book is exhausting, strangely enough physically as well as emotionally. By the end I felt like I, personally had been pushed through the Hunger Games (minus having to take anyone's life) and there was no way I was going back. You may not believe me but really it was. Also the disappointment that the 2nd book didn't have Katniss getting together an awesome army of friends to combat the capital was overwhelming.
Katniss is an okay character. I admired her for stepping up to save her sister, and for staying away from killing her fellow Hunger Game mates for as long as possible. There was some emotion in her particularly during a very tragic death scene, but even though I'm in her head the whole time, at the end of the book I still felt like I didn't know her. It also felt that the little rebelling she did do, was accidental, and with no real meaning behind it other than saving herself. I have no opinion of Gale, he seems like a nice guy, he likes Katniss, but he was only in the beginning for a little bit. Peeta, well I liked him but only because he was one: in it more, and two: reminded me of a person I am quite fond of. My favorite character was definitely Haymitch, Katniss and Peetas' trainer. His character development, from drunkard slob, to tough trainer was nicely written as well as his relationship with Katniss, one of outward friction, and eventual inner respect. I also liked little Rue, Katniss's adopted sister in the games. She added a vulnerability to Katniss that we might of missed out on. At the end we get a little peek at President Snow, the evil ruler of the Capitol and all of Panem. He's the sick mind behind the Hunger Games and doubtless we get to know more about him in the other two books. Too bad I am completely devoid of any interest in whatever battle will unfurl.
Content: Violence. Lots of it. Involving kids and young teens.
Rating: 2 and a half stars out of 5
Recommend: If you like this sort of thing...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Musing Mondays (Mar.7)

Musing Mondays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Todays question is: What book(s) are you most excited about right now? (it can either be something you’re currently reading, or something you just bought, or a book/books that are soon to be published).

The book I am currently very excited about is the sequel to Beth Fantaskey's book Jessica's Guide to Dating the Dark Side. It was a really funny and interesting book, and so I was glad to hear Beth was going to be revisiting her awesome characters Jessica and Lucius in Jessica Rules the Dark Side~! The book will be released in the Winter of 2011-12, but you can read an excerpt on Beth Fantaskey's website. :D

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books you just had to buy...but are still sitting on my bookshelf.

Top Ten tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish~! This weeks topic is one I can really relate to. In fact I think any true bibliophile can relate to it. You know those books you have to have...and then never read, or at least it takes you years to get to them. Well here's a chance to write down your top ten.

1. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley: A little girl slueth with a penchant for poison. I should have had this book finished 3 hours after having it in my hands. I've wanted to read this book for ages but every time I try to, something gets in the way and I can't seem to finish it. It's very shaming.

2. The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan: Love this guy, he is one of my favorite authors ever, and I bought this for my birthday last year. Alas I tried reading it a couple months ago, and never picked it up since. :(

3. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery: I bought this one way before The Red Pyramid and was so excited to read it even way before that. Yet I haven't even picked it up in ages. It's on my to read list this year though. I will read it..!

4. Invisible I by Melissa Kantor/Stella Lennon: This is an exciting YA mystery series I heard about two years ago from one of the first blogs I joined. I instantly dragged my mother to Target just so I could pick up a copy. Tried to read it. Really. Put it back just for a second. Didn't pick it up again.

5. Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev: I bought this because everyone raved about it, saying it was brilliant. So I thought "I love brilliant books. I should buy it, and read it." Like I would get through it over the weekend. Haha. Haha.

6. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld: In my defense the pictures were so detailed and awesome I got the whole story from them, and figured I didn't even have to read the book. :P

7. Inkspell by Cornelia Funke: I loved Inkheart and figured this one would be no different. It's really old...really really old buy.

8. Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor by Stephenie Barron: Pre-published Jane Austen turned super sleuth. Seriously? What's wrong with me?

9. Worldshaker by Richard Harland: Yet another steampunk book I just had to have...

10. No Place For Magic by E.D. Baker: This is the fourth in the series, and I read the other 3 fairly quickly. They were fun, well written, and small books. So why is this one collecting dust?

Well that's it for me in the book buying book reading fail department. What about you? What books did you think you'd die without having, but stay on your shelves months after getting them?